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Hargrove Exiled

So you wake up on Monday, semi-content with the Rams performance on Sunday. Eventhough it was a loss, it's clear that they're still a good team. You're dealing with it, accepting things, and then you see that the Rams have traded Defensive End Anthony Hargrove to the Bills.

Not only did they trade the 3rd year defensive end, responsible for 88 tackles and 8 sacks in his short tenure with the Rams, they traded him for a highly valuable 5th round pick, which should certainly yield them a wonderful linebacker knocking the teeth out his opponents in Division 1AA.

Yeah, that was your day yesterday if you're a Rams fan.

Apparently the trouble stemmed from Hargrove's disappearing from a couple days of practice before the Arizona game in September. That little incident got him abandoned in STL for that game, and bumped from his starting role for the next two games.

Now, I'm no leather-clad facist - well, at least I'm not a facist -  but it seems that losing your starting job, giving someone else the chance to take it from you, is no small thing, and for most reasonable people it should probably be enough. Seriously, Hargrove's mistake was a stupid one and worthy of punishment - there's no need to turn the Rams into the Bengals. Trading him, the GitMo of NFL punishment, seems an excessive step to send the monkey business will not be tolerated message to the rest of the clubhouse.

Stay tuned on this one though, the tabloid reader in me senses more details will trickle out.

Update [2006-10-17 14:36:36 by VanRam]: Just caught this tidbit of info on the Hargrove thing at the PD's online Rams forum:

Reports were he had serious depression from the ending of his engagement (which is back on) and problems with the mother of one of his children in Atlanta. Seems Hargrove is seeing a therapist for his depression and it probably got the better of him.
I have no idea as to the credibility of this source, so take it for what it's worth. I think the bottom line here is that Linehan and the Rams' front office want to send a message to the rest of the team to focus in on their game. The loss this Sunday should have been a win, regardless of a lame call, and it was a loss because of, largely, mental lapses in through the 3rdQ. I don't know how well this kind of thing works, whether or not players will get the message, but it's not the worst move for a new administration to the franchise to establish themselves. Over the coming weeks we'll know how well it paid off.